Once in Ranthambore, we found a nice hotel, freshened up and believe it or not, it was not yet 3pm… after ALL that we’d already experienced for the day. We asked about booking a 4by4 tour of the tiger reserve. The tour was supposed to be at 3pm I think, and after the hotel reception called to the people at the reserve to confirm whether a tour was still possible, we went there. So this here is the so called ‘tourist office’ where one books the tours.
We actually did the jist of the booking at the back of this building which was heavily under construction, literally with makeshift wooden scaffolding holding up the roof. Here we had to hand over our passports for checking (this happens everywhere you need to book something, even at hotels). I’m not sure why, perhaps for some kind of security reasons. If you don’t have the passport with you, I think your life could become very complicated in India.
When we made the booking, we met this guy there, who was also there to book a tour. And between all of us, we decided to do the tour altogether, as it would work out much cheaper that way. As part of the package we were obligated to book a tour guide (who never said a word for the entire tour might I add). Its worth a mention that Gaby and myself paid at least 3 times what the price was for Santosh and the other guy (because they are Indian and we are not). This is the case everywhere, and I think its fair. Its something that would work well in South Africa. So, back to this guy who joined us on our tour. He works in the Indian defence force and was on vacation and travelling around exploring India. After having a nice jolly old conversation with Santosh and me, he asked us what our names are and we told it to him, and then I asked the same of him. He introduced himself as ‘Leftenent Rohan’. I found it hilarious and a complete put off. And after that I could not take him seriously. Also he was quite irritating. Didn’t stop talking the whole time. And the driver and his friend were very much impressed by the opinions and other stories that the leftenent had to blabber about, so the yap yap yapping never stopped. It was very annoying. In the end Gaby, Santosh and myself had a good old laugh mocking the leftenent. He was so irritating. He boasted about buying a book on tigers to prepare himself for this visit to the tiger reserve (rolling my eyes over here). Here’s a photo I took just for memory of the honorable leftenent.
Once Inside the reserve were lots of day visitors. People walking around in a tiger reserve! You can probably guess that there were no tigers. It was a VERY bumpy ride. In fact, India is in general alot of hopping going on. You need a strong flexible back for that country. More than the tiger reserve was the religious temples. the esscence of which cannot really be captured with an amateur camera. We did see some of Bambi’s family, and birds and a very interesting and most unusual combination of vegetation Gaby says ;). I think it may be due to people introducing vegetation from other parts of the world. Here are some of what we saw in and near the reserve:
After the reserve we were pretty much knackered. So we just had our supper, Gaby headed up to clean up and relax up, and then I went with Santosh offered to take me for a little ride on the back of his bike … to buy cigarettes. We ended up going to buy the smokes and then also went for another little ride. I had a feeling something was up and he wanted to tell me something. In the end, when he told me that he thought I was a ‘good woman’ and that he likes me alot, I was not surprised. He invited me up to his room, and If I said I wasn’t tempted, I would be lying through my teeth. But well, nothing happened, and I slept soundly in the bed next to Gaby that night. Sorry folks.